Online MBA in Human Resources (HR) Programs 2021

October 13, 2021 , Modified on May 25, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online MBA in Human Resources (HR) Programs 2021 is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Earning a human resources degree prepares learners to oversee organizations' employment-related functions. Human resources (HR) professionals perform many tasks, including recruiting, screening, and interviewing and placing workers. Students who enjoy online courses related to strategic human resource management, employee development, and strategic issues may want to pursue an online MBA in human resources.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), human resources managers earn a median annual salary of $121,220. The BLS projects jobs for these professionals to grow 6% between 2019-2029.

Read on to learn about online human resources degrees, including common courses and scholarship opportunities. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Q. Is a master of business administration (MBA) in human resources worth it?

An MBA in human resources offers a comprehensive curriculum that can increase learners' career opportunities. Graduates refine their skills in employee engagement, conflict resolution, employment law, and strategic management. This degree can also lead to increased salaries.

Q. Is human resources a good career?

This growth-oriented field provides strong employment and advancement opportunities. This field can also offer employees high job satisfaction.

Q. How long does it take to get an MBA in human resources?

An MBA in human resources takes approximately 18 months to complete, with eight-week terms. Some schools offer an accelerated or flexible MBA that includes weekends.

Q. What kind of jobs can I get with a human resources degree?

Professionals in upper-level human resources roles may work as development specialists, training and development managers, compensation specialists, benefits managers, and labor relations specialists.

Why Get a Degree in Human Resources?

An online human resources degree may appeal to current HR professionals who enjoy working with employees in an organization. Professionals who want to make a career change may also choose human resources if they enjoy training, employee relations, and employee development.

Human resources specialists earn a median annual salary of $63,490, according to the BLS. While these professionals do not typically need an MBA, earning an online MBA in human resources can help them advance in their career and boost their salary. For example, compensation and benefits managers earn a median annual salary of $125,130.

Online MBA graduates can often recoup the cost of their degree fairly quickly. Business school alumni earn a median cumulative base salary of $2.5 million over 20 years, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council.

Enrolling in an online MBA program offers many other benefits, including the ability to work and study at the same time.

How Much Does a Human Resources Degree Cost?

Tuition varies among public universities, private institutions, for-profit colleges, and nonprofit institutions. Online school degrees will typically cost less than in-person degrees, but also note distance learning fees, which vary, depending on the institution.

Online students may pay additional fees, depending on the institution. These fees could involve a one-time matriculation fee or a per-credit distance learning fee. Some schools may charge a distance education course fee, assessment and graduation fees, financial aid fees, technology fees, or capital improvement fees.

The average cost of graduate tuition and required fees cost $12,171 for public institutions in 2018-2019. Private institutions cost $25,929 on average in 2018-2019. However, tuition and fees vary depending on the institution. For example, Northwest Missouri State University charges $12,300 for its online MBA in human resources program. The tuition amount covers the cost for both in-state and out-of-state students.

Prospective students should ask colleges and universities in-depth questions about tuition and fees so they know what to expect before they make a final decision.

Calculating the Cost of a College Degree

Prospective students can use the calculation tool below to estimate how much they can spend on college tuition. Learners input their current income, cost of living, loans, expenses, and potential scholarship amounts. They can also enter the anticipated cost of equipment and supplies.

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Human Resources Majors Make?

Human resource specialists earn a median annual salary of $63,490, while human resources managers earn a median annual salary of $121,220. The BLS projects job opportunities in this field to grow 6% from 2019-2029.

A graduate degree in human resources offers a 33% increase in pay, as evidenced by the difference in salaries between a human resource specialist and a human resource manager.

Human resources professionals position themselves for career advancement through certifications. Professionals who hold titles like human resources manager, senior human resources consultant, operations managers, human resources directors, and employee relations managers can all qualify to earn a certification. Earning a certification showcases professionals' commitment to their careers and can help boost their income.

Courses in Human Resources

Students pursuing an online human resources degree develop research and analytical skills through projects or a thesis. Specialized courses may also help learners further develop their expertise. While specific courses vary by school, most MBA in human resources programs include the courses below.

Human Resource Management

The course exposes students to current practices associated with workforce management. Learners study the legal aspects of managing employees, enforcing discipline, and implementing termination processes. The class reviews human resources management on a macro level and incorporates real-life examples to help students understand the role of human resources within an organization.

Human Resource Metrics and Talent Analytics

The class introduces learners to techniques for developing human resource metrics and other performance measurement systems within organizations. Enrollees learn how to mine organizational data and how to manipulate research and quantitative data to yield organizational insights.

Interpersonal Relations, Influence, and Ethical Leadership

The course analyzes communication challenges and difficult discussions many organizations face. Learners study the tenets of ethical leadership and engage in discussions on conflict resolution and negotiation. Enrollees also explore techniques for examining and resolving real workplace dilemmas.

Certifications and Licensure for Human Resources

Human resources certifications help employees showcase their commitment to human resources as a career and help them climb the corporate ladder. See below for some certifications that can help human resources professionals advance in their career.

HR professionals who implement policies and strategies may apply for the SHRM-CP exam. Professionals who serve as a point of contact for staff and stakeholders, deliver HR services, and perform operational HR functions may also take the exam. Those with a related graduate degree must currently serve in an HR role. The PHR certification focuses on technical and operational aspects of HR management, including U.S. laws and regulations. Professionals need at least one year of experience in a professional-level HR position and a master's degree or higher. The SPHR certification involves strategy and policy in HR management. Eligible professionals must meet one of the following conditions for education or experience: possess at least four years of experience in a professional-level HR position plus a master's degree or higher, possess at least five years of experience in a professional-level HR position plus a bachelor's degree, or possess at least seven years of experience in a professional-level HR position.

Scholarships for Human Resources

Students can help fund their MBA in human resources by applying for scholarships. Schools, organizations, and nonprofits offer merit-based scholarships and grants. See below for three opportunities open to HR degree-seekers.

BOTH Scholarship

Who Can Apply: MBA students from the African diaspora who attend an accredited university may apply. Students must major in a business-related degree, submit proof of enrollment, and provide a writing prompt. Applicants must also offer an example of their creative content.

Amount: $1,000

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans

Who Can Apply: New Americans age 30 or younger may apply. Applicants must plan to start or continue an eligible full-time graduate program in the United States in the 2022-23 academic year. Applicants' birth parents both must have been born outside of the U.S. as non-U.S. citizens. Both parents must not have been eligible for U.S. citizenship at the time of their births.

Amount: $90,000

Beldon Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Learners pursuing a degree in business, management, marketing, or a related field, including human resources, may apply. Applicants need a minimum 3.5 GPA and must submit their official transcripts and an essay containing 1,500-2,000 words.

Amount: $1,000

Online MBA in Human Resources Programs 2021

  1. University of Nebraska-Lincoln

    Lincoln, NE



    UNL offers one of the Midwest's top MBA programs. Students who enroll in the school's online MBA in human resources gain business knowledge and specialized HR skills. Most learners finish the degree in 1.5-3 years.

    Enrollees complete a minimum of 48 credits, including 30 core business credits and 18 elective credits. The business core covers topics such as financial accounting and organizational behavior. Learners also complete nine credits of HR electives. These courses cover topics such as compensation and talent acquisition.

    Applicants submit a personal statement, resume, and three professional references. UNL requires exam scores from either the GRE or GMAT. Applicants must submit exam scores from within the past five years. UNL recommends a minimum of 600 on the GMAT.

  2. University of North Texas

    Denton, TX



    UNT offers one of the state's top online MBA in human resources degrees. The concentration in organizational behavior and HR emphasizes process, structure, and behavior. Students explore HR practices and how they can provide a competitive advantage in business.

    The MBA includes a minimum of 36 credits. UNT divides the curriculum among core courses, supporting courses, and electives. The program core covers areas such as financial management and marketing management. Supporting courses build HR knowledge in areas including organizational design and leadership research.

    Applicants do not need a business background. However, students need experience in areas such as economics and finance. Enrollees who lack this experience can complete online courses to build required skills. UNT's Graduate Programs Office works with students to determine necessary prerequisites.

  3. Purdue University-Main Campus

    West Lafayette, IN



    One of Indiana's largest public colleges, Purdue offers distance education through its Purdue Global platform. The school's online MBA in human resources trains students to coordinate hiring and employee management practices. The program aligns with curriculum standards from the Society for Human Resource Management.

    Learners complete 76 credits divided between 60 core credits and 16 HR concentration credits. The program core explores topics such as strategic communication and business ethics. HR courses cover topics including employment law and training.

    Graduates of Purdue's BS in business administration program can complete the MBA in an accelerated format. This pathway applies 20 credits toward graduate curriculum requirements. Students can begin during several annual start dates.

  4. Wayne State University

    Detroit, MI



    WSU is a public college in Detroit, Michigan. The school's online MBA in human resources offers accelerated learning options. Enrollees can complete some courses in 1-4 weeks. Students can complete the degree online. However, they should check with advisors to determine online course availability.

    WSU's MBA program highlights business' global role. The school encourages students to complete at least one study-abroad experience. Learners can complete faculty-led or individual exchange programs in many countries. Study-abroad programs give students a deeper perspective into international business operations. Learners can also explore the international operations of local businesses.

    MBA candidates receive support from WSU's Career Planning and Placement Office. Career counselors advise students on networking and job searches. The office also hosts workshops and job events.

  5. Pittsburg State University

    Pittsburg, KS



    A Kansas-based public college, Pitt State offers one of the state's top MBA in human resources programs. Learners develop foundational business knowledge and skills. Full-time students can complete the program in 12 months. Pitt State boasts a 90% job-placement rate among recent graduates.

    MBA candidates complete at least 30 credits divided between a 21-credit core and a nine-credit HR concentration. The program core covers topics such as management control systems and quantitative business leadership. The HR concentration includes courses in personnel development and organizational development.

    Enrollees pay the same tuition regardless of location. As of August 2021, the program's total tuition costs $11,250.

  6. University of Louisiana at Lafayette

    Lafayette, LA



    UL Lafayette offers a fully online MBA in human resources. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Learners gain knowledge in both business strategy and HR leadership. Students can complete the MBA in 15 months.

    The program includes a minimum of 33 credits divided between core courses and concentration courses. Core courses cover topics such as international business and managerial economics. The HR concentration includes courses in data analysis and employment law. Students without a business background may need to complete foundation courses in accounting, economics, and finance.

    Enrollees can access support services such as academic advising and tutoring. The MBA program pairs all students with an academic advisor.

  7. Central Michigan University

    Mount Pleasant, MI



    CMU serves more than 16,000 students annually from its Mount Pleasant campus. The school's online MBA in human resources is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Learners study fiscal management and strategic planning. CMU offers start dates in the fall, spring, and summer.

    MBA students complete 36 credits, including 27 core credits and nine HR concentration credits. The MBA core covers topics such as data analysis for managers and marketing-based management. Concentration courses build advanced skills in human resources management. Enrollees also complete a seminar in organizational development.

    Applicants need a minimum 2.7 undergraduate GPA. Applicants do not need a business background. However, CMU encourages students without business experience to complete several prerequisite courses. Recommended subjects include economics and statistics.

  8. California State University-Stanislaus

    Turlock, CA



    Turlock-based Stan State offers one of the state's top online MBA in human resources. Learners gain management skills in both general business and HR. The program offers start dates in the fall and spring and offers courses in 15-week blocks.

    Students complete a minimum of 30 credits divided between 21 core credits and nine elective credits. Seven core courses build knowledge in areas such as management accounting and business organization. Enrollees also complete three HR electives. Different options are available each semester.

    All candidates must complete a comprehensive final exam. The exam includes seven short essay questions based on each of the program's seven core courses. Degree-seekers must pass at least five questions to graduate. Students who fail the final exam may retake it the following semester.

  9. Montclair State University

    Montclair, NJ



    Montclair's online MBA in human resources blends academic theory and practical business skills. The program trains students to manage human capital and motivate workforces. The program offers six annual start dates.

    Enrollees explore the human factors that affect business operations. They study individual, group, and cultural perspectives. Students gain the skills to manage corporate talent and retain top employees. The program serves current HR managers and professionals who want to enter or advance in the field.

    Candidates complete 39 credits total, including 30 core credits and nine HR concentration credits. Concentration courses cover topics such as global workforce management and HR analytics. Students also complete one additional elective course. Options include advanced project management and hospitality management.

  10. Northwest Missouri State University

    Maryville, MO



    Northwest's online MBA in human resources highlights best practices for employee recruitment, training, and professional development. The program runs fully online and takes 12-18 months to complete. As of August 2021, total tuition costs $12,300.

    Enrollees complete a minimum of 30 credits, including 21 core MBA credits and nine HR concentration courses. The concentration covers topics such as compensation and benefits. Applicants without a business background must also complete an MBA business foundation course.

    Applicants need a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA and at least three years of professional experience. Candidates without significant professional experience may submit GMAT or GRE scores. Northwest may waive GMAT/GRE requirements for students with an undergraduate 3.5 GPA or above.

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Melissa Brock

Melissa Brock worked in college admission for 12 years and writes for numerous publications, including "The Journal of College Admission." Her website, College Money Tips, helps families smoothly navigate the college search process. She currently works as a freelance writer and financial editor, covering higher education, college savings and personal finance.

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Reese Lopez

Reese Lopez is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience in the education field. After earning his BA in English from Evergreen State College, he worked as an English language instructor and tutor before joining Affordable Colleges Online. Reese lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also writes fiction and performs in the local music scene.

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